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Steve Lovell has resigned as manager of National South Welling United and assistant Tristan Lewis has also left

Steve Lovell is looking for a new challenge after quitting as manager of Welling United.

The 61-year-old looked to have been turning the club’s league form around, after a torrid start in National South, but the Wings suffered a setback with a weekend FA Cup defeat against Harrow Borough.

Welling United are looking for a new manager following Steve Lovell's resignation. Pictured with assistant Tristan Lewis. Pic: Keith Gillard
Welling United are looking for a new manager following Steve Lovell's resignation. Pictured with assistant Tristan Lewis. Pic: Keith Gillard

Former Gillingham manager Lovell was confident that the club wouldn’t be embroiled in a relegation battle but it’s not the challenge he wants.

“I am keen to get back into it,” said Lovell, having made his decision to quit.

“You want to be at a club with ambition to go further, a club that I can take forward and work with but I must say Mark (Goldberg, the Welling chairman) has been great for me and he gave me the opportunity. We are good friends and still will be, that is one of the reasons I did it now, to give the club an opportunity to get someone else in and work with that group.

“Perhaps it is not right for me. They could have been, we would have been fine, there was no doubt we wouldn't be relegated, the boys were great, but for me, it is a personal thing, me wanting to achieve something that perhaps we thought we couldn't achieve at Welling.

“I would rather nip it in the bud and say ‘look, me and Tristan (Lewis, assistant manager) have given it a go, it is not for us.’ Someone else can now come in, take over and take them forward. It was something that just wasn’t right and you only know that when you go into a club.

“We got a squad together that we thought would be good enough and they might be good enough but I think, from a personal point of view, I could see it wasn’t going to work.”

His last game in charge was Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Harrow Borough.

Prior to that they had been three unbeaten in the league as they looked to put behind them a tough start.

Lovell said: “We felt after the first three games, when we didn’t have a squad at all, we were missing defenders and we had three bad results and then we picked it up, we beat Concord, we drew with Slough, but it was something that was not sitting right with me. I don’t want to do something for the sake of it.

“The players that we have got are decent players. Desire is something I have always had and shown and perhaps we didn't get that from the group of players we inherited or got in, perhaps someone else can get that out of this group, I don’t know.

“From a personal point of view, it was a desire to achieve something better than just wanting to stay in the league and not being able to have the resources to do it.”

A Welling statement said: "Following this weekend’s exit from The FA Cup we are disappointed to announce that the Club has accepted the resignations of both Steve Lovell and Tristan Lewis.

"The Club wishes to place on record its thanks to both Steve and Tristan for all of their efforts since arriving shortly before the end of the curtailed 2020-21 season and wish them both the very best for the future."

Former manager Jamie Day might be available, should Goldberg wish to pursue him, after he was released from his duties as Bangladesh manager for a period of two months.

The national federation have brought in an interim manager, in the hope of improving their fortunes, but Day is understood to still be on contract there. He had been the national manager for 29 games, taking charge back in August 2018.

Welling host Dartford on Saturday, a side who are managed by ex-Wings boss Steve King. He took Welling to the play-off final in 2019, losing 1-0 to Woking.

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